Really, what do flea eggs look like? Well, for anyone who’s been bitten by a bed bug, you can be sure some tiny flea eggs are lurking around to hatch – either from your cat or dogs.
But to control flea eggs, you must effectively know their physical appearance and places where they’re hidden – including differences between flea eggs and flea dirt.
In summary, fleas eggs are tiny specs (0.5 lengths by 0.25 mm width), rounded-oval shape, with a flexible-chorion and softshell. Adult females fleas produce eggs 1 to 2 days after taking a full blood meal and mating. Flea eggs will be laid on a host like cats or dogs, but they’ll fall off shortly (within hours).
Flea Eggs – What Do Flea Eggs Look Like?
1. Size – How big is Flea Eggs?
Flea eggs, particularly cat flea eggs, measure about 0.25 millimeters in width and 0.5 millimeters in length. Despite that, you can see the eggs with your unaided human eye – particularly when in clusters, these creatures are tiny in body size.
Flea eggs are microscopic creatures that’ll look like the grain of salt. Notably, a single grain of salt dropped on some of the ground may be difficult to notice or find. They are microscopic and thus will only be seen when they’re in clusters.
2. Color – What Color Are Flea Eggs?
The oval-shaped eggs may also be mistaken for the color of human dry skin that’s whitish and rough due to lack of oiling. However, the identity of the flea’s eggs may only be fully verified with a microscope.
For this process, you’ll position the flea eggs on some dark paper before looking at it through a magnifying glass or microscope lens. Notice whether the object is oval-shaped, plus characteristically off-white or white – if so, this could be flea eggs.
Flea eggs take the shape of an oval but elongate object that also has two rounded ends. Further, the viable flea eggs will have its surface being smooth and lacks indentations.
However, the insecticide-sprayed or non-viable flea eggs look collapsed and dimpled. Despite that, you’ll find the eggs dry. They’re at first sticky and wet when laid.
So, flea eggs are oval and clear (off -white) tiny specs in the shape and size of sand or salt grains. However, the eggs mainly exist in the ’20s as a cluster and will mostly be seen in the pet’s sleeping area and rarely on the cat’s or dog’s fur.
But, can you see flea eggs? Fleas’ eggs can be seen with the naked human eye, but they’re significantly small. Therefore, it would help to look around when you suspect a flea infestation in your space.
However, if you’re inspecting the pet’s fur, or bedding, or thick carpet, it would be challenging to see the flea eggs with your naked eggs – so use a magnifying glass.
Where Do Fleas Lay Eggs?
1. Pet Hosts – Cat’s and Dogs
You’ll mainly find the flea eggs on regions that are generally less groomed – mainly when you don’t use the cat flea comb frequently.
2. Falling off their Host
Generally, dry flea eggs are not sticky, and thus they’ll easily fall off from the host’s fur and body even before you embark on grooming your pet.
Notably, about 58 percent of the cat flea eggs will have fallen off from the pets (cats and dogs) in 2 hours after they’re laid. Over 3/4 of the flea eggs will have fallen off within 8 hours.
However, if the pet’s hair is long or isn’t well-groomed, some flea eggs will remain hidden in the thick fiber – mainly if the hair is dirty and dense.
Further, the flea bites cause server irritation and scratching– this process makes it easier for the dirt and eggs to fall off from the cats or dogs.
a. Outdoors and Indoor Environment
The eggs that are dislodged from the host will fall into either the outdoor and indoor environment. Notably, these eggs will fall off where the pets will be sleeping or walking into.
Therefore, the movement of the host will influence the spaces where the eggs will be distributed. But most of them will be lying around the feeding, resting, and sleeping areas of the pets.
b. Humid and Warm Micro-climate
Under unfavorable humidity and temperature, fleas eggs tend to desiccate very fast. Therefore, you’ll mainly find viable and live eggs around areas with humid and warm micro-climates.
The RH should be anywhere above 50%, while the Ambient temperature needs to be in the range of 11°C to 39°C to enable the eggs’ survival.
3. Carpeted Rooms
The fleas will thus be clustered and hidden in the carpet. So, below are the areas where flea eggs lay their eggs in the house, apartment, or yard.
The carpet canopy will protect the flea larvae and eggs from insecticides, vacuuming, airflow, and sunlight while also holding food for the flea larvae.
The eggs will mainly incubate in upholstery, cushions, pet bedding, floor-board cracks, rugs, and carpeting. However, they may also incubate on wooden floors or carpeted areas.
4. Yard and Lawns
It is critical to note that fleas rarely survive the harsh and sun-flooded outdoor spaces. Further, suitable places for the eggs to survive need shade and wind-shaded plus an RH of over 46%.
Flea eggs incubation zones in the yard include crawl spaces, gardens, flower beds, cat shelters, and dog houses. These places must be devoid of hot sun rays and excessive wind.
Flea Eggs vs. Flea Dirt
Flea dirt is an outcome of significant flea infestations, making it confused for clustered flea eggs. However, flea dirt will crumble readily, and it is dark-colored.
You can differentiate flea dirt by placing the “dirt drops” on some white canvas, adding some water drops, and checking if it’ll turn reddish – this is a sign of digested host blood.
How Long Does It Take for Flea Eggs to Hatch?
Flea eggs will hatch in 1 week (from 2 days) to 2 weeks – with the right environmental conditions are the correct relative humidity and temperature. Flea eggs are roughly half of the whole adult flea population.
Notably, with high humidity and warmer temperatures, the flea eggs would hatch faster. They’ll quickly progress to other life stages, including larvae, flea pupa, and adult fleas.
The eggs will be found in batches – on batch having 20 eggs clustered together. Notably, each adult female eggs will lay about 40 eggs each day to more than 1,200 eggs in its lifetime.
After hatching, the eggs grow into larvae that’ll eat flea dirt. The larvae will develop their cocoon in 1-3 weeks so that it now grows to its pupae stage.
How to Kill Flea Eggs
1. Washing or Laundering
Washing or laundering the pet’s bedding and blankets using hot water helps exterminate the flea eggs. Further, you’ll need to wash all the stuffed animals and pet toys.
Therefore, you’ll need to wash up the bedding and clothes since pets will drop their eggs there once the eggs shell becomes dry or when you use a flea comb.
Washing machines can hence assist in killing the flea infestation. However, I would also recommend using dawn dish soap plus the hot water.
Finally, kill the flea eggs by bathing the cat or dog with some flea killing shampoo plus warm water. The shampoo contains insecticides and Insect growth regulators that’ll kill adult, baby, and flea eggs.
Vacuuming will kill flea eggs and the larvae, too – equally by keeping your home tidy and clean. Also, you must vacuum under rugs and carpeted areas.
Vacuuming on the hidden areas allows a quicker sucking on flea cocoons, larvae, and eggs. Equally, flea frequently hates disruption by blowers or vibrations and hence will prevent flea growth.
Vacuuming will suck up the eggs in carpets and other fabrics. This will be incredibly helpful for indoor pets, spending most of their time on furniture, bed, or couch.
3. Grooming with Flea Combs
Flea combs for cats or dogs will help eject the eggs (or their clusters) from the pet’s fur. Therefore, ensure you run the combs thoroughly in the pet’s fur without injuring their skin.
On the flip side, flea combs must not be used on the pet when they’re in the yard – and if so, you’ll need later to use an effective flea spray for the yard.
Insecticides must contain IGRs (Insect Growth Regulators) as it’ll help cut short the reproduction of the bugs. This prevents the fleas in each stage from progressing to their next life cycle stage.
Flea eggs live in some limited places. Notably, the bugs will only move from the regular hosts when the host dies.
The eggs won’t stick on the fur and hence will fall off within an hour. Vacuum, launder the pet bedding, use effective insect growth regulators.
- Flea Control and Prevention | Entomology
- Fleas Management Guidelines–UC IPM
- Chemical and Nonchemical Management of Fleas
- Flea Control – OSU Fact Sheets – Oklahoma State University